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Anyone using a Garmin Forerunner 305? (Read 2094 times)

vicentefrijole


    Is anyone using the new Garmin Forerunner 305 (or 205)? I have a few questions and I can't find any reviews online (such a new product I guess). 1) Does the upgraded GPS reception technology really make a difference? I'm often running in a large city near sky-scrapers and have heard from many users that Garmin 201 and 301 are useless in this environment. So should I go with a Foot Pod instead then or does the new Garmin upgrade solve this problem? 2) Does anyone have any information about Garmin product compatibility with Mac OS 10.4? I've read a very exciting news release on their site stating that such compatibility is coming this spring, but if anyone has an opinion on the likelihood of this, I'm all ears. 3) Any other recommendations for a city-running, Mac-using, marathoner? I've been interested in the Nike Triax Elite with Footpod and HRM but, though their software works with Mac OS X, their customer support is terrible (their techs weren't even aware it worked with OS X) Confused. Thanks for any info/comments. Big grin


    A Dance with Monkeys

      I just got a 201 for my birthday and am thiniing about returning it (unopened) to get a 205/305. Reviews have been hard to come by, and the wide release date keeps getting pushed back. Last I heard, it will be out next week, but I have heard that teh past few weeks. One review I did find included a link to a motionbased.com route in Muir woods. Thats the place with all the giant redwoods and hills, which would confound most GPS watches, and the tracing was pristine. I run among a lot of trees and in hilly parks (check out my courses), and am excited by this. But until it comes out and there are wide reviews, nobody will know for sure. I am also a Mac user. The software does not yet work on Mac OS anything, including 10.4. Soon, they say. Soon...
      vicentefrijole


        Thanks Trent. I checked out the motionbased.com site and there seems to be a lot of discussion about the forerunner on there. Happy Trails!
          I have used a 201 for the past 3 years and have been very pleased with the results. Nonetheless, I am getting a 205 as soon as they are available. I do have a friend that recently picked up a 305 Edge (for biking). The very first thing he noticed is that the 305 only takes a couple of seconds to find the satellites whereas the Forerunner 301 seemed to take upwards of a minute or two. Perhaps this is just psychological, however, because the the cadence, speed, distance, and altitude can all be calculated on this device without the need for satellites! The routes he runs/rides are not in canyons but they do have lots of overhanging trees and he frequently had dropout issues with the Forerunner 301. Not so with the Edge 305. He had very, very few "empty spots" in the map view when uploading the data. His biggest disappointment with the 305 is that it does not have a memory chip that lets you upload street map data onto the device. In other words, the map view is a bread-crump view without topology or street data on it. Sooner or later this will be available and we'lll find ourselves upgrading again. Bottom line: he says he is very pleased with the performance of the 305.
          My Masters (>50) Race PR's: 5K - 20:17 10K - 42:36 HM - 1:31:22 Marathon - 3:20:48
          vicentefrijole


            Thanks Pron8r, that's good info. Big grin Just to share what else I've learned so far, a runner on the motionbased site took his old 201 and new 205 out for a side-by-side comparison in an "urban valley" in Boston. Here's his report: http://forums.motionbased.com/smf/index.php?topic=1853.msg10083#msg10083 I don't know if this is conclusive, but it looks promising. In any case, the Garmin 305 is now at the top of my list. I've got some time to consider it further, though, as it seems most places have them backordered.
            aemerlino


              I purchased a 205 from REI 10 days ago. After a rocky start, I'm extremely happy that I did.I purchased a 205 from REI 10 days ago. After an auspicious start, mostly due to my lack of knowledge about the device, I’m extremely happy that I have it. My first unsuccessful use of this device was on a 20 mile run on Boston Marathon course. I lost my signal on my first run 20 miler (lost signal at 16.5) and it never came back. I believe this is because I only let it charge for 6-7 hours. My primary reason to wait to purchase this particular device was because it was supposed to acquire and hold onto the signal better than its predecessors. Since my first bad experience, the device has always worked properly. This includes in woods and on a day with flurries. Since it was winter, there were no leaves on the trees but I was amongst pine trees for a bit and it didn’t lose its signal. I’ve used many of its features (e.g., autostart, autolap, navigation via the map while running a new trail, customized menus, elevation, grade) and found they all worked as advertised. I’ve also uploaded my data to the PC and was surprised to find that the generated map contained some rudimentary road information (route 95 and 3). I really like this device but being a scientist I want to collect more data before I give it a full endorsement. I’m looking forward to trying this in the woods with leaves with trees in the summer. Early lessons learned * Make sure it is fully charged before it’s first use. * Let it sit in the window of your house or car for 3-5 minutes before you go running. This will help to lock into satellites in your region much quicker when you start your run. The one negative of this product is that the manual is not very informative. They bring you through different screens very quickly which helps you to find the most important features. But it would be nice if all of the features/menus were explained in the manual. I would also like to know the GPS polling frequency and the sampling rate for the average pace estimate.
              dancurry


                I've only had it two days, but I love it. Had the 201. The 305 has better GPS reception. I've had no lost signals and ran through canopy of trees on path. Also, when you put it one a mode that measures data once per second, its accuracy on elevation and pace seems to improve. All around better than 201. Only small gripe is that history data is a little small and hard to read, but not that big a deal.


                A Dance with Monkeys

                  I posted this on a local running message board in response to a question about the 305 and accuracy on some trails (which are named according to colors)- My parents and in-laws were kind enough back in February to contribute to buying me a GPS device. They helped cover half the cost of a Forerunner 305, which made it more reasonably priced. I was a bit tentative about buying it, given that I run a lot under trees or among buildings. After seeing a route with great capture, made using the 305 in California's Muir Woods (think mountains and giant redwoods), I ordered one. I could not be happier with the reception it has been getting. On our run last Sunday through the PWP trails, three of us wore Forerunners. Two of us had on a 305 and one of us a 301. I looked at all three logs on motionbased.com and on google earth. The 301 lost about 10-15% of the route. The two 305s, while not perfectly aligned, were very very close and had only one apparent (and brief) drop out between them. My friend used the 305 yesterday on the yellow trail and under thick cloud cover with drizzle. The motionbased analysis said that the reception was "excellent" and I could not find any apparent signal drop outs when I scrutinized the data on motionbased.com and google earth. My friend, who normally runs very well and pretty fast, does not believe that the coverage was perfect, since it would have meant that his pace was a bit slower that he thought. The Forerunner 205 is less expensive, but does not have a heart rate monitor. The 305 may come down in price since there are now plenty on the market. My 305 had to be replaced when the power button broke within 4 weeks of buying it, but the process was effortless and quick. -------- I have used the readings from the 305 to construct map lines on this RunningAhead.com inspired map: http://www.harpethhillsmarathon.com/parkmap. The lines listed on this website as trails all come from my Forerunner 305 readings. The others come from manual mapping. The trails are fairly accurate, although they do waver a touch around curves under the dense tree cover. I believe the overall distances to be pretty good and the overall and lap paces to be accurate.
                  vicentefrijole


                    Trent! (Or anyone else using a Forerunner and Mac OSX) Do they have Mac software for the 305 yet? It seems like there is partial support? (http://blog.motionbased.com/2006/03/index.html) How's it working otherwise? I'm not delaying any longer... gonna buy a new system this week! Thanks.


                    A Dance with Monkeys

                      Motionbased has Mac support for uploading your data, but it is not yet robust. I have used it a lot though, and it works reasonably well, although sometimes you have to wait a while to view your data. They say they are working on it, and it has improved over time. From Motionbased, you can download your routes to google earth and others. The installed app from Garmin? Well, I still have not heard a timeline for that.


                      Needs more cowbell!

                        This is really interesting to me. Someday I might want a Forerunner (if I were to get into doing longer distances) and I have been wondering how well they would work on my Mac.

                        Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                        '14 Goals:

                        • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                        vicentefrijole


                          Motionbased has Mac support for uploading your data, but it is not yet robust. I have used it a lot though, and it works reasonably well, although sometimes you have to wait a while to view your data. They say they are working on it, and it has improved over time. From Motionbased, you can download your routes to google earth and others. The installed app from Garmin? Well, I still have not heard a timeline for that.
                          I just bought one! Shocked YAY!!!! Big grin


                          A Dance with Monkeys

                            Have fun with it! Be patient with motionbased, and make sure to download google earth and play with that as well. Let us all know what you think. T